Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has on Tuesday tabled her fourth straight budget in the Lok Sabha, which has come at a crucial time ahead of the assembly polls in five states. The budget was rolled out amid huge expectations from across the nation, particularly from the middle-class community and the individual taxpayers. However, the lack of major reformations to relieve such people from the tax regime has brought severe castigations from the opposition parties.
Amid being filled with mixed reactions over her announcement, Nirmala Sitharaman has addressed the press during which she took the questions from the reporters on the budget. While speaking to the reporters, she said she was sorry to the middle-class taxpayers for not reducing the tax burden. Taking the question on raising the duty tax on certain items, the finance minister said, "I have not tried to earn even a single paisa by increasing tax this year and even last year. "
"PM had given clear instructions that people should not be burdened with taxes at the time of the pandemic, notwithstanding the deficit", she added. While responding to a question of imposing 30% of tax on digital currency, Nirmala Sitharaman said, "Central bank will issue a digital currency, no discussions over what are crypto and crypto-assets now. Consultation with stakeholders is underway. The description of digital assets will come after the consultation."
On the front of creating jobs, she said, "Pandemic has snatched away so many jobs across the world. Our Atmanirbhar Bharat Package saved the jobs of a lot of people. We are trying to help those who lost their jobs, through various schemes. I am denying but it is not fair to say that we didn't do anything." Taking on Rahul Gandhi's criticism that the budget has nothing for farmers, young people, and the middle class, the finance minister has asked the Congress leader to try doing something in the Congress-govern states.
"I pity people who come up with quick responses...Just because you want to put something on Twitter, it doesn't help. He should first do something in Congress-govern states then talk about it", she added. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has commended the Budget and termed it as the Budget full of possibilities. He said, "This budget is full of new possibilities of more infrastructure, more investment, more growth, and more jobs." He stated that for the first time in the country, the Parvatmala Scheme is being started for such areas as Himachal, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, and North East. He added, "This plan will build a modern system of transportation on the mountains."
The Prime Minister further said, "An important aspect of this budget is the welfare of the poor. Every poor person should have a pucca house, water from the tap, toilet, gas facility, and all these have been given special attention." "An important step has been taken for the welfare of the farmers along with the faith of the people of India, the cleaning of Mother Ganga. Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, in these five states, along the banks of the Ganges, natural farming will be encouraged."